No. 2 Aggies lose at home against No. 6 Baylor, 5-3
A&M travels to Waco for the remainder of the series
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 22:07
The No. 2 Texas A&M baseball team carried a 3-2 lead into the 8th inning but gave up three late scores extend the visiting No. 6 Baylor Bears’ 22-game winning streak.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in the other dugout, we’ve got to play better,” head coach Rob Childress said. “We’ve got to eliminate those mistakes and when we get opportunities we got to take advantage of those and we didn’t do that.”
Junior starting pitcher Michael Wacha lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and striking out three. Baylor’s Josh Turley threw seven complete frames and struck out four while allowing only one earned run.
“Both guys I thought were really jacked up early in the game,” Baylor coach Steve Smith said. “I don’t know that either one of them were their best. I thought both of them got better as the game went on. I’m really proud of Josh.”
With runners on first and third and zero outs down in the top of the first, Wacha pitched himself out of a jam and induced an inning-ending flyout to sophomore left fielder Brandon Wood, heading back into the dugout after earning a round of applause.
The cheering continued as junior short stop ripped a triple into the left field corner in the Aggies’ first at bat of the night, and was brought home two batters later by sophomore right fielder Tyler Naquin’s RBI groundout. An RBI single from senior designated hitter Matt Juengel extended the Aggies’ lead to 2-0.
After the Bears plated a run in the second, sophomore center fielder Krey Bratsen regained the two-score Aggie lead with an RBI single. From that point on, however, Turley would find his groove and silence the Aggies’ offense while the Baylor bats began to slowly reawaken, finally culminating in a three-run effort in the 8th that sealed the victory for the visitors.
“They’ve got a really good approach and they’re tough to put away,” Childress said of Baylor’s lineup. “Their older guys have been together a long time and their young guys that are playing in that lineup now have jumped right in with that older group.”
In the top of the 8th, freshman reliever Jason Freeman had runners stranded at first and second before Childress turned to junior Kyle Martin (4-4), who allowed one run on three hits in 1 2/3 innings and was credited with the loss after Logan Vick’s 2-run single gave the Bears a lead they would not relinquish.
“I thought on the mound we did some good things tonight,” Childress said. “Michael battled and got us into the sixth. Estee, Freeman, and K-Mart all had their moments and did a good job. It’s just the one moment [in the 8th] that was important we got crossed up and it cost us the game.”
The Aggies will now travel north on Highway 6 for the two final games of the series. If the Aggies are the team destined to snap the Bears’ hot streak, it will have to come in front of a hostile crowd at Baylor Ballpark.
“It’s tough losing the first one at home and going away for the next two,” senior second baseman Scott Arthur said. “We’ve just got to get it together and have a positive attitude because it’s going to be tough to do no matter what. It’s all in the hitters’ hands, all in our hands, to take care of business tomorrow.”